At­mos­phere:

Central Otago Mirror - - FEATURES -

Four years ago, some anony­mous peo­ple posted a cou­ple of mean Google re­views about this cheap and cheer­ful Queen­stown lunch joint.

They rated it ‘‘no star’’, and I won’t bother go­ing into their is­sues be­cause, re­ally, what did they ex­pect from a glar­ingly ob­vi­ous, for­mat­ted lunch menu at an out­fit serv­ing ta­bles on an unattrac­tive, con­gested foot path?

The prob­lem with the in­ter­noo­dle is things stick, even if the own­ers have made changes — and to be hon­est, I have no idea about that. I thought my $12 curry lunch was ac­cept­able. Not great, but I wasn’t ex­pect­ing ex­quis­ite cui­sine. Here’s what else I found.

Ser­vice:

The big­gest mis­take the wait­ress made was bring­ing out one menu for three peo­ple. She was at­ten­tive and came back sev­eral times be­cause one of my com­pan­ions could not make up her mind. She did bring more menus. We also got ev­ery­thing else we asked for — chop­sticks, ex­tra plates for the en­trees, more wa­ter.

Food:

I had a $12 green chicken curry from the lunch spe­cial menu. It was a bit light on veg­eta­bles and could have been spicier, but then, I was asked and I didn’t com­mit. The por­tion size was ad­e­quate and it tasted all right. One of my com­pan­ions or­dered a $23.50 Mas­saman prawn curry from the main menu and de­scribed it as ‘‘ex­cel­lent’’ and ‘‘a par­tic­u­larly good one’’. The other dithered for a while be­fore choos­ing a $12 crumbed Thai-style chicken lunch, which she re­gret­ted be­cause it was ‘‘a bit bland’’. How­ever, her meal was not dry and the food was cooked prop­erly. We ranked our dol­lops of un­ex­cit­ing coleslaw about 5/10.

We also or­dered three en­trees to share. I thought the won­tons and the prawn sticks were bet­ter than the fresh spring rolls. Street side din­ers sit at bulky plas­tic white ta­bles, the type you get at hard­ware stores. They are a bit ugly, but they are prac­ti­cal and don’t en­cour­age peo­ple to linger. Sure, some might think it nice to dine off fur­ni­ture made from im­ported tim­bers milled from ex­otic forests but in the cir­cum­stances, plas­tic re­ally is OK.

The ta­ble per­formed its func­tion. If you want a calm am­bi­ence away from shop­pers, go in­side where some at­ten­tion has been given to the decor. From the door, ev­ery­thing ap­peared pleas­ing, tidy and clean. I didn’t go in.

Ver­dict:

Queen­stown’s Beach St is a bit of a con­gested drain pipe re­ally, though the per­spec­tive im­proves on a sunny day. And it does have some cheap and cheer­ful food joints.

We had mixed re­sults at Thai Siam. You can have the blander side of cheer­ful off the lunch menu, or the higher side of cheap if you or­der a tasty curry from the main menu. We agreed it was ac­cept­able. We did not go hun­gry.

There were op­tions. And sit­ting in might be nicer than out. Ei­ther way, it’s worth an­other go.

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